Alternative Medicine in Bulgaria

Alternative medicine is practiced all round the world, not least in Bulgaria where traditional remedies mixed with a little superstition are believed to work effectively as they have done through many generations.

Bad luck and stress that comes with it is a part of life no matter where you are and dealing with it is done in different ways. In Bulgaria there is treatment that is made in from alternative medicine sources, bordering on the edge of witch doctor theology.

In Bulgaria this is widely believed and practiced and for the second time since since living here I have found the need for the practice to be administered from the local practitioner in my Skalitsa village.

It came to pass that my English guests have come to stay and we all caught a virus and were ill for three days. Added to this my car had broke down and we had to use taxis. Then to add to a trilogy of disasters the car was smashed up on the way to the garage to be fixed after our guests had just left to go back to England. So the week of vacation left us totally drained from illness, the cost of taxi fares and now the cost of car repairs. The stress of the whole week had got on top of us. It was decided that we travel to Skalitsa and get treatment for this the Bulgarian way.

Having gone through this procedure before it was familiar territory for me, but this time I knew what it was all about before the process, this wasn't the case first time round! Before, I was taken there by my neighbour after crashing another car, not really knowing why until some months afterwards when my Bulgarian language picked up a bit and then understood.

As the appointment was made, we decided that as well as my partner and I our neighbour was to go as she had found a snake in her kitchen that very morning. She had a phobia against them resulting in a very stressed Bulgaria woman in need of therapeutic help right now.

We need to take 2 leva each for the services and a piece of lead. The lead was found for my neighbour as she had a Bulgarian fishing ledger weight that was still made from pure lead. From my own fishing tackle, the weights although looking like lead were in fact another compound of metal. Lead weights of course have been banned in the UK for a number of years now so we had to travel empty handed in the hope the Maria the healing doctor had a spare supply at hand.

We arrived twenty minute late, but this is what happens here and Maria was ready for us with the bottle gas and cooking plate supporting a big table spoon in the middle of here living room floor. Beside the now flaming gas cooker there was placed a small white bowl of water and a screw topped plastic container which held a supply of lead. We were in luck, the lead supply was in stock and the process could start.

I was first in line and placed on the chair finding myself watching some lead being place into the spoon and held over the intense heat. It wasn't long unit the lead had turned into a molten state and this now in the spoon and the bowl of water was picked up and placed over my head. A chant was whispered and the spoon touched three sides of the bowl before the lead screeched out a cry as it hit the water. It was then back to the heat for a remelting of the lead and the same process was done another twice above my head.

The same treatment was then moved onto the the chest as the melting of the lead, the chanting while tapping the edge of the bowl and the return of solid metal from the water treatment was actioned but only done twice in this area.

The final process was done by my legs where at one point a sizzling piece of lead jumped out of the water missing my bare foot by a couple of centimeters and scorching the rug laid on the floor. This rather shook me up thinking what could have happened! This was repeated four times by my as the lower part of my body apparently had high stress levels.

Each time the lead was picked out of the water it was examined and repeated it the shape of the lead warranted another session in that particular area. It was clear that from the shape that formed that there were problems at the lower end for me hence the process being repeated again and again.

Afterwards the now very warm water from the bowl that the lead was poured was transfered into a glass and I was asked to take three small sips. This I duly did knowing that it was probably contaminated with lead, but this is Bulgaria and Bulgarian ways and traditions were respected.

Whilst Maria turned away to pour the water into the glass to drink a payment of two leva was placed on the floor by the stove and was picked up whilst the sipping was going on. I remember before that the exchange of payment was made whilst each respective party wasn't looking.

My partner was next and no less that five repeated processes were done above her head, there were obvious problem there. My neighbour followed on as I observed trying to discover the types of shapes the lead resulted in to cause the process to be repeated or move on. It seems there the was definitely a jagged and sharp characteristic to the lead to cause a repeated administration in the same areas of the body and a smoother finish when moving on further down. All were asked for the three sips of the water whilst the payments were being exchanged and presented the lead in wrapped newspaper afterwards.

Because my partner still had problems with the lead over her head another follow up form of practice was taken up. Maria took a handful of salt crystals in hand and sprinkled some over her head whilst another chant was whispered. Again this was done at least three times before Maria was satisfied that the treatment affected.

The wrapped up lead were now to be placed under the pillow for three nights and then thrown into a river for the lead now full of the owners' stress should now run downstream never to return.

It is with interest that the Bulgarians truly believe this practice to work and part of this the unwavering belief of the process. This of course is another major contributing factor of process actually working through physiological channels of alternative medicine.